Residue is easy to miss among the flurry of shows released on Netflix in the last few months. It tells the story of the aftermath of a mysterious explosion in an English city that involves some supernatural effects. Mild spoilers ahead (not much beyond what’s in the trailer).

Residue stars Natalia Tena and Iwan Rheon from Game of Thrones (which I still haven’t got around to watching yet) and is set about five minutes in the future (there are a couple of bits of advanced technology but otherwise it doesn’t look much different from today). An explosion rocks a nightclub in a major British city on New Year’s Eve. The official government story is that the cause was a secret abandoned chemical weapons facility under the city and the area is quarantined due to contamination. A photographer (Tena) living near the quarantine zone notices strange things happening and investigates. Other key characters are a spin doctor for the Home Office (Rheon) and a grieving detective who doesn’t buy the official story. If you watched a lot of The X-Files or similar shows you can guess where this is going.

Initially made as a movie and briefly released in the UK, Residue was re-edited to make three episodes for a Netflix series. (Indiewire has a story on how the show came to Netflix and it’s worth a read.) The movie pacing helps what could have otherwise ended up a long slog as characters slowly realized what was going on. Instead a lot happens by the end of the last episode. After watching a season of A&E’s The Returned this was definitely a plus.


Residue is essentially a long pilot for a series so don’t expect resolution. The show isn’t perfect but I liked it enough that I would like to see Netflix green-light a full season.

Yes, Residue is currently streaming on Netflix.